UK lost more than 200 libraries in 2012

The fight to keep libraries open has dominated the headlines but the UK has quietly lost more than 200 branches over the past year, according to a detailed national survey.

The rate of library closures has increased, reveals the annual report from the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy: 146 branches closed between 2010 and 2011, with the number stepping up to 201 this year. The UK now has 4,265 libraries, compared with 4,612 two years ago, and the number of closures is likely to grow. Campaigners in Newcastle are currently fighting plans to close 10 out of the city's 18 libraries, with Billy Elliot playwright Lee Hall calling on the council to protect the city's heritage last month.

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But not everywhere

Cambridgeshire Libraries underwent a massive reorganisation. At the start there was the worry that there would be 13 libraries being closed.

At the end of it no libraries were closed and in fact more dealing with the public staff were hired than there had been before.

Some systems just need changing.

Or people need to put their hands in their pockets and say they actually want to pay to keep their services. High time we have local taxation laws to allow people to fund the services they want the most.

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